3 June 2010


Spire awarded contract to develop high-efficiency solar cells for space

Spire Corp of Bedford, MA, USA, which provides capital equipment and turnkey production lines for manufacturing photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules, says that its epiwafer foundry subsidiary Spire Semiconductor LLC of Hudson, NH has been awarded a contract from the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to develop high-efficiency, multi-junction solar cells for space applications.

“This award is timely since it supports our ongoing terrestrial solar cell business,” says Spire Semiconductor’s general manager Edward D. Gagnon. “Currently, we are developing a 42%-efficient, 500-sun concentrator cell under a US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory contract [awarded in April 2009]. The MDA contract will help to further establish our capabilities and expertise in concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) cell technology for both space and terrestrial solar cell applications,” he adds.

“The market opportunities for concentrator solar cells are significant,” comments Spire Corp’s chairman & CEO Roger G. Little. “This contract supports commercial initiatives at Spire Semiconductor and provides validation of Spire’s approach to increasing the efficiency where lowering the cost of concentrator solar cells,” he adds. “We have already generated significant customer interest, and we plan to work closely with the MDA and customers to develop devices that optimally address strategic interests and market needs.”

See related item:

Spire's large-area CPV cell reaches 41% efficiency at 500x suns

Search: Spire Semiconductor Epiwafer foundry Multi-junction solar cells